After your death, your family may be eligible to receive a one-time death benefit payment. In order to meet eligibility requirements, you must have contributed to the Social Security system for the requisite number of working quarters.
Social Security Payments
Not all U.S. workers pay into Social Security. For example, many teachers, firefighters, and police officers who contribute to a state retirement fund are prohibited from receiving Social Security death benefits. Check with the Social Security Administration to see if you are eligible.
Check your yearly Social Security statement to see how many quarters you have paid into Social Security and whether these payments meet the requirements for death benefits.
Only your spouse or your child (if you are divorced, separated or unmarried) can receive the one-time Social Security death benefit payment.
Assuming you have met all the requirements, your family may receive a lump sum of $255 to help with funeral expenses upon your death.
In addition to the lump-sum death benefit, your widow or widower, children, divorced spouse, or dependent parents may be eligible for ongoing death benefits from the Social Security Administration. Check online at ssa.gov.
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